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Analysis: Wake knocks off Georgia Tech to snap ACC skid

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Moore swats a Evan Cole shot
Jeremy Brevard/USAToday

While the season has been a struggle for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, they seized the opportunity to pick up a win, 79-62, over Georgia Tech on Wednesday night. Coach Danny Manning received solid offensive production in several areas as the Demon Deacons shot 49.2 percent and closed the first half on a 14-4 run while they controlled the game throughout the second half.

“We just tried to throw a lot of bodies at them and wear them down and that worked out well for us,” said Manning, “But we have got to do better defensively. They shot over 50 percent.”

The Yellow Jackets remain short-handed without point guard Jose Alvarado and the athletic Curtis Haywood. With Alvarado out of the lineup, point guard Bryant Crawford played 32 minutes and had nine assists and no turnovers. He also scored 16 points, making five of nine shots.

“Bryant distributed the ball very well tonight,” noted Manning, “I thought we did a good job of not forcing passes and making ourselves available on the receiving end. We did a good job with the hockey assists in our passing. Somebody would have a shot and then give up the shot and make a pass to somebody who had a better shot.”

Mitchell WIlbekin continued to shoot the ball well with 11 points as he made three treys. This was a nice follow up to his 13-point performance at Syracuse on Sunday.

Wilbekin had missed the four games prior to Syracuse with an ankle injury. However in the five games prior, he was a combined 9-of-36 from the floor and averaged only 5.6 points per game during that stretch.

WIlbekin’s presence down the stretch will make the Deacons a much tougher matchup on the perimeter once again.

“He’s a huge presence for us when he makes shots and I know that he wants to make sure he goes out on a good note,” commented Manning, “He has shot the ball well in the last couple of games.”

Moore continues his growth and on Wednesday night, he dominated Georgia Tech’s Ben Lammers as he lead Wake Forest with his 17 points and 12 boards. He continues to lead the ACC in rebounding with 11.1 per game and has nine straight game where he has logged double figures on the glass.

“He’s doing great job of making himself available at the rim,” commented Manning, “He had five offensive rebounds and is not settling for being boxed out and is making a second and third effort at the rim and get offensive put backs. He is too athletic and to big to go a game without getting any blocks.”

Despite the offensive outputs, Manning noted that he wants Crawford to defend harder and then Moore to continue to look for blocks. Moore has only three blocks in his last four games.